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August 2015

Aloha kākou,

‘Ahahui o nā Kauka, the Association of Native Hawaiian Physicians, invites you to renew your membership, or join as a new member. ‘Ahahui o nā Kauka believes that physician leadership has a unique role in the shared goal to raise the health status of our people.

Our mission, to champion superior health care for all Native Hawaiians, has never been more critical.  Native Hawaiians suffer the highest prevalence of chronic health illness including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer.   Although Kānaka Maoli comprise 20-25% of the population, barely 3.2% of practicing physicians in Hawaiʻi are Kanaka Maoli.  We have a way to go to achieve parity, and we can all do more to improve our community’s health by cultivating relationships with one another. The need to come together to provide care for our people is especially great on our neighbor islands where there are severe shortages of specialists and primary care physicians.

Hui pū, join us, in finding that space where Hawaiian physicians can not only care for our local people, but support and promote better health outcomes for the whole community through advocacy, leadership, education, mentorship, community service and collaboration. Cultural fellowship is also important to our growth as physicians and we plan to continue to offer huakaʻi throughout our pae ʻāina o Hawaiʻi.

In 1975, five UH graduates joined eleven other Hawaiian physicians in practice.  Today, there are more than 300 kauka.  We now have a critical mass who—collectively with our Ali‘i Trusts and their medical centers, the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, State Department of Health and its hospitals, and health insurers—can effect change.

It is a privilege to be a physician.  Our kuleana is not only as doctors of medicine and healers, but as Kānaka.  Our opportunity is now.  Please join us in this mission.

We will be meeting on our islands to welcome new and returning members and to discuss our kuleana to our communities.  Please join us!

E ola mau ka lāhui Hawaiʻi,

Marcus Kāwika Iwane, MD                                  Noa Emmett Aluli, MD

John A. Burns School of Medicine, 2010              John A. Burns School of Medicine, 1975

Chair, Membership Committee                               Kauka Kupuna & Vice-President